Safe Mode: On
Big Brother is watching: surveillance box to track drivers is backed

The government is backing a project to install a "communication box" in new cars to track the whereabouts of drivers anywhere in Europe, the Guardian can reveal.

Under the proposals, vehicles will emit a constant "heartbeat" revealing their location, speed and direction of travel. The EU officials behind the plan believe it will significantly reduce road accidents, congestion and carbon emissions. A consortium of manufacturers has indicated that the router device could be installed in all new cars as early as 2013.

However, privacy campaigners warned last night that a European-wide car tracking system would create a system of almost total road surveillance.
Follow that car: 'The British government are the main backers' Link to this audio

Details of the Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure Systems (CVIS) project, a £36m EU initiative backed by car manufacturers and the telecoms industry, will be unveiled this year.

But the Guardian has been given unpublished documents detailing the proposed uses for the system. They confirm that it could have profound implications for privacy, enabling cars to be tracked to within a metre - more accurate than current satellite navigation technologies.

The European commission has asked governments to reserve radio frequency on the 5.9 Gigahertz band, essentially setting aside a universal frequency on which CVIS technology will work.

The Department for Transport said there were no current plans to make installation of the technology mandatory. However, those involved in the project describe the UK as one of the main "state backers". Transport for London has also hosted trials of the technology.

The European Data Protection Supervisor will make a formal announcement on the privacy implications of CVIS technology soon. But in a recent speech he said the technology would have "great impact on rights to privacy and data".

Paul Kompfner, who manages CVIS, said governments would have to decide on privacy safeguards. "It is time to start a debate ... so the right legal and privacy framework can be put in place before the technology reaches the market," he said.

The system allows cars to "talk" to one another and the road. A "communication box" behind the dashboard ensures that cars send out "heartbeat" messages every 500 milliseconds through mobile cellular and wireless local area networks, short-range microwave or infrared.

The messages will be picked up by other cars in the vicinity, allowing vehicles to warn each other if they are forced to break hard or swerve to avoid a hazard.

The data is also picked up by detectors at the roadside and mobile phone towers. That enables the road to communicate with cars, allowing for "intelligent" traffic lights to turn green when cars are approaching or gantries on the motorway to announce changes to speed limits.

Data will also be sent to "control centres" that manage traffic, enabling a vastly improved system to monitor and even direct vehicles.

"A traffic controller will know where all vehicles are and even where they are headed," said Kompfner. "That would result in a significant reduction in congestion and replace the need for cameras."

Although the plan is to initially introduce the technology on a voluntary basis, Kompfner conceded that for the system to work it would need widespread uptake. He envisages governments making the technology mandatory for safety reasons.Any system that tracks cars could also be used for speed enforcement or national road tolling.

Roads in the UK are already subject to the closest surveillance of any in the world. Police control a database that is fed information from automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, and are able to deduce the journeys of as many as 10 million drivers a day. Details are stored for up to five years.

However, the government has been told that ANPR speed camera technology is "inherently limited" with "numerous shortcomings".

Advice to ministers obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act advocates upgrading to a more effective car tracking-based system, similar to CVIS technology, but warns such a system could be seen as a "spy in the cab" and "may be regarded as draconian".

Introducing a more benign technology first, the report by transport consultants argues, would "enable potential adverse public reaction to be better managed".

Simon Davies, director of the watchdog Privacy International, said: "The problem is not what the data tells the state, but what happens with interlocking information it already has. If you correlate car tracking data with mobile phone data, which can also track people, there is the potential for an almost infallible surveillance system."

Paul Lewis
The Guardian, Tuesday 31 March 2009


Click to view image: 'CVIS_CALM_copyrights'

Click to view image: 'top_level_architecture'

Click to view image: 'COMO 1'

Click to view image: 'COMO 2'

Added: Apr-2-2009 
By: Psycho:Active
In:
News, Arts and Entertainment
Tags: CVIS, Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure Systems, Big Brother, car tracker, privacy invasion
Views: 8313 | Comments: 24 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 1 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
You need to be registered in order to add comments! Register HERE
Sort by: Newest first | Oldest first | Highest score first
Liveleak opposes racial slurs - if you do spot comments that fall into this category, please report them for us to review.
  • And like everything else, it won't be hacker proof. Some brainiac kid somewhere will find a way to wreck havoc with the system just to see what happens.

    Posted Apr-2-2009 By 

    (2) | Report

  • GPS signal blockers are already common use with employees fed up with company tracking schemes on vehicles .

    Posted Apr-3-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Sounds like V For Vendetta to me....

    Posted Apr-2-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

    • Sounds like simpletons who already use a type of GPS navigation system arent aware of how they are already bugging thier own cars.

      Posted Apr-2-2009 By 

      (2) | Report

    • P.S And if they own a mobile phone theyre as good as tailed by the eyes in the sky.

      I can see how some people would want to break speed limits and get away with it but if I were to be scathingly honest about this all, its consumerist demand for newer electronic gizmo's that have pushed the boundries thus far. They built thier own invisible prison and now they want to escape it...tough titties.

      Posted Apr-2-2009 By 

      (1) | Report

  • Big Brother just spooged.

    Posted Apr-2-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Thanks for posting this.I was talking to a friend of mine in Portugal last night.I'll find the guardian link for him but I wonder if there isn't another source.

    Posted Apr-2-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

  • the first thing i would do on my own car is disable this piece of shit. So that means they will make it illegal to do that or will design it so the car wont run without it. This sucks. Life is becoming such a disgusting, painful, boring, miserable piece of shit anymore, more unlivable every day. I will never have kids, like sucks and it will just keep getting worse.

    Posted Apr-2-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

  • nwo.....its coming fast

    Posted Apr-3-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

  • RFID chips for cars.

    Posted Apr-3-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

  • The RIGHT of the people to be secure in their persons,houses,papers,and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated,andno warrants shall issue,but upon probable cause,supported by oath or affirmation,and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized!!!!!

    Posted Apr-3-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

    • So whats up with that Patriot act?

      Posted Apr-3-2009 By 

      (0) | Report

    • It's unconstitutional. any law in conflict with the constitution is invalid

      Posted Apr-3-2009 By 

      (0) | Report

    • K, so I assume your just warming up at the moment, while also telling Europe about how its done in America, or at least how it should be done....

      Wake me up when the revolution begins.

      Posted Apr-3-2009 By 

      (0) | Report

    • so reading your quote of waking you up when the revolution begins this Quote FLASHED im my head-----> "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
      -Mark Twain

      Posted Apr-4-2009 By 

      (0) | Report

    • "None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who truly believe they are free"

      Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

      Posted Apr-4-2009 By 

      (0) | Report

  • So true! so what are we going to do about it ?? or is ( century of the self) still in play?

    Posted Apr-4-2009 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Yeah It's called ONSTAR & i ripped it out!!! onstar can slow down & stop your car Via Sat page 11 on terms & condition and they have listened to conversation in your car google boycott onstar & doint give my that what do you got to hide crap why do you have shades on your windows ??? what are you doing in there???hmmm??

    Posted Apr-2-2009 By 

    (-2) | Report

    • Just how deep is your paranoia? You ripped Onstar out? That's kinda funny since it's built into your rearview mirror. I guess just canceling the subscription wasn't good enough. You felt the need to rip off your rearview mirror in the process?

      News Flash, it doesn't slow down your car (just ask the last cop who clocked and ticketed me at 90 mph). They do not listen to conversations in your car because the unit isn't connected unless you engage it by pressing the connect button.

      And the bot More..

      Posted Apr-2-2009 By 

      (2) | Report

    • LOL your funny by the way the the mic is in the mirror the GPS/ & computer is in the dash under the heater control you doint have a clue what your talken about every thing i said is base in fact! I am & will stay a free man by the barrel of a gun if need be!!!

      Posted Apr-3-2009 By 

      (-1) | Report